Saturday, June 13, 2009

nuts and seeds

This post is to remind me for future use what I just learned. I looked at the nutritional info for various nuts and seeds, using the CRON-o-meter program (it's free). I compared (raw) walnuts, pistachio, brazil nuts, almonds, cashew; hemp, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, chi, and flax seeds.

Now I see why Dr. Fuhrman and others recommend flax seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts for getting your omega-3 fats. Chia seeds are also super-high in omega-3. I've never tried them but I'll add them to my shopping list and try them out. The seeds are much higher than the walnuts in omega-3s. Here's an article describing the benefits. Here's another that says it helps with macular degeneration (eye disease). Since housemate got warned by the eye doctor that she had the beginnings of this, I will put the seeds in her smoothies. According to the same article, citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables are good too. House mate does pretty well with those.

Then I want to get some more muscle on my skinny frame so Dr. Fuhrman recommends sunflower seeds because of their complete amino acid profile. He said it's just like eating meat. I think he said that about hemp seed too. I recall this from one of his telecons or the forums so I don't have an article to point to.  According to this website, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds have even higher "quality" protein than sunflower.  It didn't have an entry for hemp.  Most nuts and seeds have 4-5 grams of protein per oz, but hemp seeds have 8, and pumpkin seeds have 6.  So I want hemp, chia, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds in my diet for protein.

So for me, I want flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and I'll try chia seeds for the omega-3s; hemp, chia, pumpkin, and sunflower  seeds for the high-quality protein; and Fuhrman recommends sesame seeds too (see Howard's comment below). Then the nuts have varying quantities of minerals which is why Dr. Fuhrman recommends a variety. Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium, while the others have little. Unfortunately I have a tendency to pig out on brazil nuts, so I guess I should buy them in relatively small quantities. Pistachio nuts have 5 g of protein per oz, lower calories than walnuts, and taste great. so if I could control myself, I probably should get some pistachio nuts, brazil nuts and walnuts to add to the mix. Sesame seeds have more calcium than any other nuts or seeds. Interesting how much it varies between them all--hence Dr. Fuhrman's advice to vary them.

8 comments:

Howard Veit said...

Barb,

Thanks for reminding me. I have been meaning to buy pistachios to add to my nut mix. Brazil nuts taste great and I tend to overeat them too. Dr. Fuhrman also highly recommends sesame seeds for those of us with a history of arrhythmia.

kneecap said...

Hi Howard!

How's it going? I just updated my post with a little more info. Thanks for the tip about sesame seeds. I was wondering why he recommends those. Here's my next question. Why do we need nuts at all? I know they taste good and add creaminess to dressings and sauces, and that's a good reason, but are they necessary? Do seeds do it all?

-barb

Mr. Curious said...

Barb, we also have a variety of seeds and nuts in the house. We grind up the seeds and put them on salads or blend them up in dressings and desserts. Chia is very mild.

kneecap said...

are your chias very tiny? mine were in the spice section and seemed expensive and tiny, which makes me think you wouldn't use 1 Tbsp at a time. but maybe you do? are yours black?

Mr. Curious said...

Yes we have black chia seeds, which we got online - here is a picture
https://www.nudefood.com/shop/images/products/190.png and they were about 10/lb. I don't really measure it out, and use about 1tbsp ground per person. In smoothies they bind it and make it more 'creamy' and they are great to use when baking as a binder as well.

kneecap said...

great, thanks for the info!
-barb

Avi said...

How did the chia experience go? In my mind, chia trumps flax and walnuts for omega three by at least 5000 times.. Every time I have chia I can feel the omega-3s in my brain, as if the ALA is converting to the DHA and EPA we need. I haven't tried hempseeds, but I have tried hempseed butter, and I still think chia is way better if you want omega-3s. It's magnificient. And I didn't know sunflower seeds were a complete source of protein, that's wonderful

kneecap said...

Hi Avi,

I didn't realize Chia had that much omega-3s. wow. I forgot to experiment with the chia seeds. I had them in a smoothie but you don't taste them there. I read that you don't have to grind them. I'll try them out, thanks for the reminder! Do you eat a lot of them? Any favorite ways?

-barb